Yalitza Vasquez has committed the last 16 years to working on behalf of English Language Learners students to ensure they graduate with a high-quality education that is equitable, rigorous, and that values their cultural and linguistic assets. She has worked with students and families in diverse roles and settings. Most recently served as the Senior Executive Director for the New York City Department of Education’s (NYCDOE) Division of English Language Learners and Student Support, which sets policies and implements programs that have an impact on more than 150,000 English Language Learners. Under her leadership, the NYCDOE opened over 100 dual language programs, developed policies to support unaccompanied minors, translation and interpretation, and developed a nationally recognized bilingual summer enrichment program.
Previously, she served as Chief of Staff and Senior Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives for the Office of English Language Learners. Prior to NYCDOE, Yalitza was Senior Director of Education and Programs at Learning Leaders, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Programs for Every Person Influences Children, and a bilingual special education teacher. Yalitza has presented at numerous conferences on English Language Learners, dual language programs, social determinants of health and education, immigration advocacy, unaccompanied minors, and family literacy.
Yalitza received her master’s degree in Education Leadership and Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University. Yalitza participated in the NYCDOE Chancellor Fellowship program, a leadership development program geared for senior leaders within the DOE and American University WeLead, a non-partisan leadership-training program run by the Women & Politics Institute. Yalitza is a proud product of the New York City public school system and was formerly an English Language Learner in one of its first Spanish bilingual programs in Queens, NY.
When Yalitza is not working she enjoys traveling the world and playing with her two rambunctious rescue dogs Alvin and Simon.